Coalition speaks out against proposed tax changes

Proposals from Ottawa are expected to impact small businesses from varied sectors

Coalition speaks out against proposed tax changes
It has been weeks after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced tax-change proposals that would impact small-business owners, but the outcry from the community is showing no signs of dying down.

Thirty-five organizations representing the interests of small businesses across Canada have united to form the Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness. The group was formed to oppose the proposals, which are predicted to dramatically affect taxation of Canadian small businesses.

“These proposals, while intended to target the wealthy, will hurt middle-class business owners from every sector … the entrepreneurial families who are the backbone of the economy and responsible for the majority of the job creation in Canada,” said Canadian Federation of Independent Business President Dan Kelly, who is a member of the coalition.

According to Ottawa, the changes are meant to address “unfair loopholes” exploited by the wealthy. If enacted, they will restrict the practice of sharing income with family members, limit certain forms of savings in the business, and alter capital-gains rules — all of which would negatively impact business owners, according to those opposed to the proposals.

“[A]llotting only 75 days for comment in the midst of the summer holidays is not a consultation,” said Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, who is also part of the coalition. “It's a stealth attack on farmers and family businesses.”

The coalition has sent a letter to Morneau asking that the proposals be taken off the table. They have also requested that any shortcomings in tax policy concerning private corporations be discussed in a meeting between the government and the business community.

The coalition membership includes Advocis, the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and the Independent Financial Brokers of Canada. Groups representing the interests of dentists, doctors, lawyers, and farmers have also joined the alliance.

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